Walks of Varanasi is a brainchild of Kuldeep Kumar who started this initiative of conducting Walking, Cycling, Food and Heritage Tours in the holy city of Varanasi in the year 2012. He was a 1st Year student in Faculty of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University when he conceptualized this idea. The USP of this initiative was to conduct the tours for travelers with the help of student guides. Students who were passionate about their culture and history and also had knack of meeting travelers were selected.
Kuldeep is a Hotel Management Graduate from IHM Pusa, New Delhi and prior to joining Faculty of Management Studies, Banaras Hindu University to pursue MBA, he had worked with a hospitality company for 4 years and had prior experience of conducting walking tours of Old Delhi. The urge to start a walking tour in Varanasi was already there seeing the potential holy city of Varanasi has. He went to Hyderabad to undergo summer internship from a Hyderabad ad agency leaving options of bigger companies. He wanted to feel and learn how owners of a company operate and execute things. A small ad agency with a team size of 14 people was an ideal platform for Kuldeep to understand starting up businesses and develop marketing strategies from the foundation part.
After completion of his Internship from an Hyderabad Ad Agency “Artbeat Communications Private Ltd”, he got more confidence to drive the initiative successfully. But he had no money. He already had spent his savings from previous job in tution fees and internship cost (received no stipend for internship). He knew at the age of 29yrs it’s so embarrassing to ask money from parents. He approached the web designer at Artbeat “Shiva” who agreed to help Kuldeep with a website designing. Kuldeep developed all the content and concept part and handed over to Shiva who developed a very appealing website. The total cost incurred was Rs.199/- . The website was live and Kuldeep took the leverage of his knowledge of Web Marketing. Within a month, the website was on the top of Google Search Engine and queries started to flow in. The first tour that they did was good enough to cross the breakeven and initiative started getting popular. Walks of Varanasi further on received several media accolades like Lonely Planet India Magazine, India Today Travel Plus, The Times of India and many more. They also received “Certificate of Excellence” by Trip Advisor in 2016.
Presently the initiative operates in several cities and tourist destinations. Soon, they are coming up with a sister concern “Soulful India Journeys” covering entire Indian Travel destinations. Till date every year the growth is more than 150% in terms of revenue. They have tie ups with Travel agencies in India and in Europe supporting Walks of Varanasi with bookings.
Since it`s inception, media journals like Lonely Planet India Magazine (2012-13), India Today Travel Plus (2013), ISHQ (German Magazine), The Times of India, Banaras Times (2014, 2015 & 2016) & South China Magazine (2016) have covered the concept of Kuldeep`s Walks of Varanasi.
Its focus is very clear “supporting every stakeholder with growth and achieving customer delight”. Small Town entrepreneurship is here to stay.